Trayvon Martin Syndrome

Trayvon Martin Syndrome

Like the rest of the country, I sat and watched as the Martin/Zimmerman Case was tried not only before Judge Debra Nelson but also in the court of public opinion. I listened as the living room lawyers and armchair prosecutors on TV presented their facts to their jury. I listened as black people once again prepared themselves for another miscarriage of justice. I watched as America prepared itself for the outcome of a trial that was put on display solely for the sake of the public’s thirst for drama. As I watched, I sat selfishly thinking this trial didn’t affect me directly. After all I didn’t know Trayvon Martin nor his family, I wasn’t from Florida, and I didn’t wear hoodies. So outside of once being a black teenager I didn’t believe I was directly affected by this case at all. I understood how America valued black life. To us this was another young black male in a long line of murders at the hands of white America that would most likely walk away free.
This case didn’t affect me directly till last night. I decided to venture out and walk to the store, to get something for my daughter. It was a warm night, slightly breezy but the air was still thick with humidity. As I made my way to the store, I walked through the streets I have known for at least thirty years. The neighborhood is a mix of black and white middle class working people. The residents are in their late 50’s early 60’s with a few teenagers scattered about. I know the streets, I know the people. I could walk these streets blindfolded. As I made my way to the store, I suddenly felt as though I was being followed. I stopped several times to make sure there wasn’t an additional set of footsteps. Suddenly I felt paranoid and afraid. my heart began to race, as did my emotions. My mind immediately gravitated towards the night Trayvon went to the store for tea and skittles. As I made my way down through the pathway to the schoolyard, I took out my key chain flashlight and began waving it about, scanning the area for any one lurking in the dark. I made it to the store relieved as the parking lot was well-lit. Exiting the store, I come across a police officer sitting in his car. As we made eye contact my anxiety heightened and the rush of fear came again. Did I look suspicious to him? I am sure he was aware of the case. Was I being profiled? Did I fit a certain stereotype? I hurried home with my purchase walking faster than ever now. Sweat pouring down my face. I entertain the idea of calling someone but decided against it because I wanted to be totally aware of my surroundings. As I neared my street, a rabbit darted from underneath some bushes pushing me into a brief sprint. As I trotted, my only thought was my front porch, my base, my safety net. As I put my keys in the door and saw the smiling face of my children I felt safe, relieved and comforted knowing I got another chance to be with my family. I kissed my babies sat down and thanked the Creator. As I reviewed my trip to the store, the effects of the trial became apparent to me. I indeed was affected, the drama I tried to avoid had crept into my conscience, invaded my psyche and embedded itself in my mind and heart. America succeeded in its effort to keep us afraid, scared and in our place. I am a black man in America, IAM SCARED, I AM TRAYVON MARTIN!

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Marriage Rate Lowest in a Century

Marriage Rate Lowest in a Century
“July 18, 2013 — Fewer women are getting married and they’re waiting longer to tie the knot when they do decide to walk down the aisle. That’s according to a new Family Profile from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research (NCFMR) at Bowling Green State University.”

This is just NOT good!!!! Marriages are down; out-of-wedlock births & affairs are way up!

“Fewer women are getting married and they’re waiting longer to tie the knot when they do decide to walk down the aisle.”
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The JAK Bank: Interest Free Full Reserve Banking!

Searching for a US model

Real Currencies

The JAK Bank provides us with an important model for interest free saving and lending. It is a fully fledged alternative for interest bearing Full Reserve Banking.

The Swedish JAK Bank is based on a Danish concept from 1931. It started in 1965 and obtained a banking licence in 1997. It’s a cooperative bank owned by its members, of which there are about 38,000. JAK stands for Jord Arbete Kapital, which is Swedish for Land, Labor and Capital, the factors of production.

Its main goal is to provide its members with interest free loans.

It operates under four basic principles:

  • Charging interest is inimical to a stable economy
  • Interest causes unemployment, inflation, and environmental destruction
  • Interest moves money from the poor to the rich
  • Interest favours projects which yield high profits in the short term

The Jak bank basically works as we expect a bank to function: it takes in…

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Attitude and Gratitude

*Reposted from MochaMoney*

I love the latest iPad. As a tech junkie nerd, the new iPad3 retina display, 4G LTE connectivity, and 5MP camera have me itching to pull out the credit card.

But truth be told, I don’t need it.

My four year old laptop gets the job done just fine.

Our consumer oriented society is always plugging the next best thing, the next “gotta-have” item. Automobile commercials seductively suggest that our current car isn’t good enough. Reality television shows like the Housewives series continually portray a lifestyle we all “should aspire to.” Everywhere we turn, we’re told that we need more.

But this constant “quest for more” has left many of us in the poorhouse, struggling with mounting credit card bills and woefully underfunded retirement accounts.

When exactly will we be satisfied?

How do we break the addiction of “wanting more?”

It could be as simple as appreciating what we already have. Learn to cultivate an attitude of gratitude.

Far too often we concentrate on what we don’t have instead of expressing gratitude for the blessings we’ve already received.

Try this. Every evening before you go to bed take a few minutes to reflect on the blessings in your life. Each night write down five things you are thankful for in an abundance journal.

Perhaps they are material possessions, your nourishing relationships, or the simple moments that brought you joy that day. No matter how big or small, take the time to acknowledge the abundance in your life.  It will do wonders for your soul.

And in the process you’ll make yourself more immune from the constant urge to buy while creating the freedom to build a secure financial future.

Your turn. Do regularly take the time to appreciate all that you have?



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Acceptance May Prolong Life

Young people may be intelligent but aged people are wise. A fool complains about what he cannot change. An intelligent youth ponders over it while a wise man accepts what cannot be changed without sacrificing any of his contentment or moral standards. This is a lofty goal which many of our elders have met.

“When older adults lose control as they move into residential care, they adapt and accept what cannot be changed in order to stay happy. According to a new study by Jaclyn Broadbent, Shikkiah de Quadros-Wander and Jane McGillivray from Deakin University in Australia, when it comes to satisfaction in later life the ability to accept what cannot be changed is as important as the feeling of being able to exert control.”

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Does Running make you Smarter?

As a college sprinter my days were filled with long moments on the track pushing through hours upon hours of grueling workouts. Afterwards the team would engage in friendly yet competitive debates as to who was in better shape, the sprinters or the distance runners. With both sides fighting for their dominance the conversations usually ended in a stalemate, never coming to a firm conclusion as to who was better. Years later as I was resting after one of my morning runs I asked myself the question, does fitness play a part in the intelligence level an individual has? I then asked are distance runners smarter than sprinters?
Sprinting requires very short burst of energy to achieve the end result. Depending on the race, it could be over in 10 to 20 seconds. The amount of oxygen consumed in a sprint is insignificant compared to that of a runner who covers a 1500 meter distance or above. Physically, sprinters are in much better shape as, those short bursts aid in developing fast twitch muscles causing the individual to burn fat, this in turn enhances muscle tone.
Distance runners on the other hand due to their prolonged exposure to vast amounts of running intake more oxygen thereby supplying the brain. Though they may not have the physical build of a sprinter, the cardio endurance of a distance runner is far superior to that of the sprinter.
A Swedish study headed by Dr. Michael Nilsson a professor at the Sahlgrenska Academy and Chief physician at the Sahlgrenska Hospital found, a clear link between good physical fitness and better results for the IQ. The strongest link, he found was for logical thinking and verbal comprehension. However, only cardiovascular fitness played a role in the results for the IQ test-not strength.
Dr. Nilsson adds, being fit means that you have good heart and lung capacity and that your brain gets plenty of oxygen.
While I am careful not to draw conclusions, the data available shows that cardiovascular exercise can weigh heavily on an individual’s ability to think and learn. Healthy people tend to think health thoughts. While we may never answer the question are sprinters smarter than distance runners, we can safely say that prolonged exposure to exercise can affect the learning ability in people. To achieve the desired results, try combining both sprinting and distance running into your exercise routine. This can ensure you obtain your muscular physique and cardio endurance while supplying your brain with the much needed oxygen. The end result will be an individual who looks good, feels great and thinks intelligently.

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Work-Family Balance

“In a study the question “Do you have any regrets?” was asked to millionaires and high ranking executives who had been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Without fail the number one regret was that they didn’t spend more time with family. When asked their greatest joy, the answer was, “my family.” Read more.

My wife and I have been engaged in a discussion about the work-family balance for some time. Admittedly, I think I’m a borderline workaholic but I’m also responding to the obligation of a man to provide for, and take care of family. On my wife’s part, being a SAHM started off GREAT but soon turned into drudgery, monotony and unfulfilling obligations. We’ve coined this part of marriage “auto-marriage”.

Often, within these phases of being on autopilot, more important aspects of our adult marriages get postponed or set aside in favor of doing what we think are the things that have to be done. The obligations often override other needs that, as it turns out, are very important for healthy people to maintain healthy marriages.

In our case, for a long time increasing wealth on my part and protecting our children from harm trumped giving my wife a break from her “job” which, as it turned out, was just as stressful, if not more, than my jobs outside of the home. We both realized that we were overburdened and that we weren’t using our 336 weekly hours effectively for the health of the entire family unit. To be continued…


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A sure no-brainer!

“Catching mental illness and intervening earlier in childhood may heighten the likelihood of a better outcome in adulthood . The consequences of mental health problems for adults can be even more severe and taxing than physical ailments, getting in the way of successes, relationships and personal goals. Many psychological ailments can even lead to heightened medical risks. For example, chronic stress has been linked to an increased risk for heart disease.” Read more

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7 Steps to Healing Broken Trust

  • Acknowledge your actions to your partner before, not after they find out. The sooner the better. The longer you have been living a lie, the deeper the damage, the more difficult the possibility of a full recovery, and the longer the healing process takes. Acknowledging the transgression before your partner affirms it from another source creates a higher level of trust than waiting until you’ve been found out.
  • Get honest. Commit yourself to zero tolerance for dishonesty in your relationship. Even after you’ve successfully demonstrated your commitment, don’t be surprised if your partner needs a lot of evidence that you are trustworthy before they’ll be ready to believe anything you say. This will take time and will require patience on your part.
  • Address the questions that your partner asks you. Don’t be defensive in response to your partner’s need for information. They need to make sure that you aren’t withholding anything else and they probably have a lot of questions that only you can answer. Be guided by the question “Is this information necessary for the healing of our relationship?” Keep in mind that your intention in this process is to communicate in a way that will restore good will. It’s not necessary to give details that will be unnecessarily inflammatory. Try to see the questions as an opportunity for you to demonstrate the kind of truth telling that your partner needs to see in order to begin to trust you again. Even if the questions seem to be repetitive or unnecessary, they need answers in order to come to terms with the situation.
  • Listen to their feelings, all of them. Don’t analyze, evaluate, judge, or reason with your partner in regard to any of their feelings. Listening without disputing is not equivalent to agreeing with someone’s point of view. It’s possible to listen respectfully even if you don’t see eye to eye about everything. Feelings aren’t necessarily rational, but they are real. You will have your turn to express your perspective, but not until they’ve expressed what they want you to hear.
  • Be patient. Reassure your partner that they can take as much time as they need to rebuild trust. The process will probably take longer than you think it should and will require self-restraint and compassion. In the end however, it is likely to bring about a deepening of the connection between the two of you. Resist the temptation to urge them to “get over it”. Give your partner reassuring words like: “ I know that I am serious about this commitment and I understand that you need more time to see the evidence and trust me. I can give you all the time you need”.
  • Take responsibility for your actions. Acknowledge the truth of what you’ve done and avoid any explanations, rationalizations, excuses, or justifications for your behavior. There will be a time to view things from a larger context when your partner may be more curious about what conditions in the relationship were contributing to the situation, but that will come later.
  • Stay focused on your intention. The work of recovery from a breach of integrity in a committed partnership takes time and effort and can be humbling. The stakes are high, and the benefits from doing the work are enormous. A successful healing can transform a damaged partnership into a sacred union. Many couples have told us that in the end, the crisis that came from the betrayal ultimately led to a profound deepening of the love and trust that they both currently share. (Linda & Charlie Bloom)
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